Perhaps this is not the way one is meant to look at life, but each year I recall all of the things that did not kill me. Often I look at my life as if it were the road behind me and realize I have travelled an incredible stretch. I’ve survived things many would not.
Nevertheless, I persisted.
Today I am 36–five years older than my father was when he died. I think about this too every year. The last time we saw each other I had bangs. I wore shoes with big tongues and had an arm full of friendship bracelets. One of the last conversations we had was about what I wanted to be when I grew up. I told him I wanted to be a writer, an artist. He wasn’t pleased, said he didn’t want me to be poor and hungry. I hope he would be proud of who I’ve become. I am an artist, but I’m also practical and have a day job that pays well. Every year, I wait for a call that will never come.
Each year I also think about my children. How much joy they bring to my days (and pain, but mostly joy). I think about how amazing it is to see them grow and learn and be. My oldest has her first job, my youngest is moments away from learning to walk and my middle guy is reading. Think about that. Each has or is opening a door that will literally change their lives. Whoa.
Today I am 36. I woke up early. I woke to snow, because that’s what always happens on my birthday. A little reminder that I am not in charge, at least not always.
I have warmth and love in all important areas of my life. I am thankful for that.